Hawaiian tourism has seen a significant uptick in the past two years. According to a report on Maui News, there were around 791,781 visitors in January, which was 37.9% higher than the same month last year. Compared to 2019, this number totals a 96.8% recovery in visitors. With so many tourists and activities returning, it’s unsurprising that many others are inspired to vacation in Hawaii too.
With stunning scenery, laidback lifestyle, and low crime rates, Hawaii is popular for women travelers. Traveling by car is one of the best ways to get around the islands, making road trips an ideal form of vacation. However, being a new driving place, it’s important to practice caution to stay safe. Below are some safety tips before taking a girls’ road trip around Hawaii.
Find a reputable car rental
Looking for a cheaper car rental option to save money can be tempting. However, many of these options are too good to be true and may end up with dangerous flaws or are outright scams. Instead, look for deals among car rentals with established history and reviews.
You can easily find a reputable car rental at Honolulu Airport as they’re all under the Consolidated Rent-A-Car (Conrac) Facility, next to Terminal 2. If you’re interested in getting the best car rental deals, it’s worth booking ahead to ensure you get the price and car model you want. Some companies at this facility include Alamo, Rent a Car, and Payless Car Rental, to name a few. Before returning your rental, it helps to take pictures of the car’s interior and exterior in case of any dispute on the car’s condition.
Follow road regulations
It may seem straightforward to follow road regulations, but some tourists may get caught up in the sights and forget to follow traffic rules. Taking a picture from your car’s perspective may be tempting, but driving with a mobile device in hand is illegal in Hawaii. If you’re caught, you will be fined $297, and this citation is much more costly in a school or construction zone at $347. Another common violation is forgetting to wear a seat belt, which is also essential to your safety.
In addition to these rules, there are also speed limits. Depending on where you are driving, there are different speed limits you have to take:
- School zones – 20-25 mph
- Within cities – 25-45
- Highways – 45-55 mph
- Interstate highways – 60 mph
Remember that the speed limit sign is only sometimes present on highways far from towns, so these numbers are reasonable estimates to keep to. Some highways in Hawaii are less maintained than others, so you may have to slow down and avoid potholes.
Beware of the time and weather changes
Hawaii is a beautiful place to go on a road trip, with plenty of sightseeing options, from luscious mountains to renowned surf spots. However, if you plan to visit nature spots, some rural roads you will be traveling on will be poorly lit and have little to no shoulders. This means you must monitor the time to avoid driving in isolated areas at night as not only are these unsafe, but they can also be scary to drive on. Depending on the month, sunset is at the earliest 5:30 pm while the latest is around 7:30 pm.
Moreover, we recommend staying up to date with the weather. Heavy rains can limit vision and make roads slippery, so it’s best to skip certain destinations if it requires you to enter less than favorable roads. An infamous stretch of road is the Kahekili Highway, along Maui’s west side. This road can be a single lane with a cliff at some points, so it’s best to avoid them, especially during rainy days.
While most people expect men to drive, you can equally enjoy a road trip as women. As long as you follow these road safety tips, you can maximize your trip and enjoy all Hawaii offers. For more information on travel safety, we recommend visiting our post “Top 10 Safety Tips for Women to Travel Solo” so you can keep a balance between amazing experiences and your security.